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Review: An IMS Ibiza spectacular at Dalt Vila

A party in a castle fit for a princess

Over 500 years ago, you'd have seen states of human alarm within Dalt Vila's defensive walls at an impending invasion. Mix the past with the present day and you've got me - one big dafty - in a sweaty state looking at IMS's Dalt Vila crown jewel party from a good couple of hundred metres too high. I might have been a lost dafty, but you shouldn't complain when you're lost with a view that has a roaring electronic fiesta enclosed inside an historic world heritage site. Route found and sharing a laugh with another reveler that it was like trying to hunt down a rave in the early '90s, the soundsystem finally started sounding nearer.

My experience of Benjamin Damage (live) was mostly heard while trying to find Benjamin's damage, but he did a sterling job of guiding my rave ambitions. It was visibly evident that he'd fulfilled what is the most clearly outlined DJ duty – to have the crowd in a buzzing state of mind. Techno warden, Nicole Moudaber, had had her fair say during controversial IMS discussions, but now it was time to get a load of the tracks that, in her opinion, make the top cut. Electronic duo, Underworld, gave her inspiration with their track 'Rah', taken from their recently released album - she gave it extra BPM speed power, sharpening it up for a dance heavy audience. Breaking into a tribal drum-led tumble, she quickly flowed into Emanuel Satie's emotive driven remix of WhoMadeWho's delicious vocal track, 'Hi & Low'. Her own material got an airing in the form of 'You Like This', a techno cut laden with a droning bassline, and in Moudaber's fashion of crafting from more than just two tracks at a time, the expletive line from Fatboy Slim's 'Star 69' got a brief chuck in. Hours before she took the show into sunset, she'd candidly said during the big debate on females in the industry that, “Not a lot of men can do what I do anyway, and so maybe not a lot of women can do what I do.” She's upfront and has zero tolerance for bullsh*t and you can see that from how she plays.

One of the underground's most in demand duos, Tale of Us, then had their turn, and now that it was time to spot laser beams over sun streams, we were readied for a full-on production show. Rarely seen in any Ibiza clubs are posses of hormone-driven teenagers, so it was a welcome sight to see the young locals getting an earful of some quality music. Tale of Us rolled through a dramatic set, rich with torso-swaying tracks embedded in brooding, melancholic vibrations, including their own theatrical track 'Northern Star' and Recondite's tremble formation, 'Warg'. They took a slight turn from texturised techno leanings with Psyk's rough, rattling, techno beast, 'Arcade', before bringing the big screen to a close.

Running with the baton to IMS's closing party finish line was techno titan, Dubfire, who brought Ibiza a debut performance of his renowned live project, dubfire: liveHYBRID. He pushed the suspense factor, with just his reflection cast behind the screen as live visuals exploded across the surface. He locks in 2D and 3D animation with live audio and lighting and it's a rough-edged journey through the intersection between man and machine. Launched into finely-wired tunnels, with liquid explosions and recurring images of human forms broken down beyond skin level to reveal internal organs and vivid nerve cells, it was an engaging cinematic experience. Towards the end of his robust techno performance, he brought in his Terror Planet Remix of Radio Slave's 'Grindhouse', which had been a massive track in Ibiza a few moons ago.

We'd heard each of the artists on Dalt Vila's stage vocalise their innermost opinions on dance music and for IMS's closing party, we got an insight into their current psyches through the medium of music. It was a fantastic, rare experience that upheld its position as a big highlight to kick off the last onslaught of opening parties.

WORDS | Aimee Lawrence PHOTOGRAPHY | Peter Young

IMS Ibiza International Music Summit Dalt Vila listings - 2022

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